• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Rider schedules and targets for 2024 (also rumours and opinions allowed)

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
So Ayuso, Almeida, Yates and Pogacar at the Tour, or am I missing something? Not sure what Almeida adds to that group given his climbing style. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a great rider but maybe not the best domestique.

But here's the problem with UAE: four top GC riders, three of whom are young. Pogacar has claimed 2 GTs this year already. So scraps for the rest, especially Almeida.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
So Ayuso, Almeida, Yates and Pogacar at the Tour, or am I missing something? Not sure what Almeida adds to that group given his climbing style. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a great rider but maybe not the best domestique.

But here's the problem with UAE: four top GC riders, three of whom are young. Pogacar has claimed 2 GTs this year already. So scraps for the rest, especially Almeida.
Glad to see Almeida will give Flèche a go. We’ve needed someone to fill the Dan Martin role of coming from 35 places back at the foot of the Mur and come back to finish in the top 5
 
So Ayuso, Almeida, Yates and Pogacar at the Tour, or am I missing something? Not sure what Almeida adds to that group given his climbing style. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a great rider but maybe not the best domestique.

But here's the problem with UAE: four top GC riders, three of whom are young. Pogacar has claimed 2 GTs this year already. So scraps for the rest, especially Almeida.
I think Almeida contractually made sure he’s never a domestique. Free roll. UAE probably wants to do what Jumbo did 2 years ago, and bet on multiple horses to try and tire Vingegaard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SHAD0W93 and Bolder
De Ronde got more climber-friendly after the changes in 2012.
The trend didn't start in 2012, it started a few years ago. The cobbled classics were often told to be something you need a lot of experience in positioning etc. and a lot of power for, which climbers usually don't have but then we've had a few riders with a climber background who did extremely well immediately after switching to cobbled races, not just Flanders but also E3, DDV etc and without their climbing performance suffering the same year. I think it may be a matter of time until we see one finishing in the top10 of Paris-Roubaix too.

This is not totally unexpected as we've always seen GC riders matching some of the best cobbled specialists on Tour de France's cobbled roads. The reason why combining climbing and cobbles was rare in the early XXI century may well have been psychological (i.e. why risk an injury in these crazy races when GTs bring a bigger prize anyway, or following Lance Armstrong's footsteps of not doing much in the first half of the year if you wanted to win a TdF), though I would still think climbing and flatter classics favour different physiques but apparently it's not as big of a deal as I've previously thought.
 
The trend didn't start in 2012, it started a few years ago. The cobbled classics were often told to be something you need a lot of experience in positioning etc. and a lot of power for, which climbers usually don't have but then we've had a few riders with a climber background who did extremely well immediately after switching to cobbled races, not just Flanders but also E3, DDV etc and without their climbing performance suffering the same year. I think it may be a matter of time until we see one finishing in the top10 of Paris-Roubaix too.

This is not totally unexpected as we've always seen GC riders matching some of the best cobbled specialists on Tour de France's cobbled roads. The reason why combining climbing and cobbles was rare in the early XXI century may well have been psychological (i.e. why risk an injury in these crazy races when GTs bring a bigger prize anyway, or following Lance Armstrong's footsteps of not doing much in the first half of the year if you wanted to win a TdF), though I would still think climbing and flatter classics favour different physiques but apparently it's not as big of a deal as I've previously thought.
Yes, I guess it started with Nibali in 2018 and Valverde following suit the year after. But the changes in 2012 certainly helped make it more viable for such riders. As for the other cobbled races, E3 has always been the most Ardennes-like of the bunch.

I still don't quite agree that the distinction between classics riders and GC riders has changed much in recent years. I think Nibali and Valverde were important as trailblazers who showed that it was possible for lighter riders to do well. It did of course help that they both were excellent at bike handling and positioning compared to the average GC rider. But there's also a difference between doing well and actually winning. Pogacar is rather exceptional. I don't think many other GC riders could have won RVV like he did, even if they tried. You need a lot of explosivity which is not normally exhibited by your typical GC rider, and it's quite telling how the explosive Valverde did significantly better than the more diesel-like Nibali. I don't think we will have a rush of GC riders at the start in Antwerp anytime soon. With some notable exceptions like Pogacar, the climbers are still at such a disadvantage that it's not worth making it a goal.

Paris-Roubaix is another notch up on the difficulty scale for the GC riders compared to RVV, E3 etc. While Pogacar may well be capable of going top 10 in Roubaix as well, the physical demands are very different from RVV. You can benefit from high w/kg on the hills of RVV with the current route, but PR is much more about absolute power. And having a bit of weight helps on the Roubaix cobbles. There's a reason why you even see differences between classics specialists in how well they're suited to each of the two monuments. Degenkolb is maybe the prime example.
 
Yes, I guess it started with Nibali in 2018 and Valverde following suit the year after. But the changes in 2012 certainly helped make it more viable for such riders. As for the other cobbled races, E3 has always been the most Ardennes-like of the bunch.

I still don't quite agree that the distinction between classics riders and GC riders has changed much in recent years. I think Nibali and Valverde were important as trailblazers who showed that it was possible for lighter riders to do well. It did of course help that they both were excellent at bike handling and positioning compared to the average GC rider. But there's also a difference between doing well and actually winning. Pogacar is rather exceptional. I don't think many other GC riders could have won RVV like he did, even if they tried. You need a lot of explosivity which is not normally exhibited by your typical GC rider, and it's quite telling how the explosive Valverde did significantly better than the more diesel-like Nibali. I don't think we will have a rush of GC riders at the start in Antwerp anytime soon. With some notable exceptions like Pogacar, the climbers are still at such a disadvantage that it's not worth making it a goal.

Paris-Roubaix is another notch up on the difficulty scale for the GC riders compared to RVV, E3 etc. While Pogacar may well be capable of going top 10 in Roubaix as well, the physical demands are very different from RVV. You can benefit from high w/kg on the hills of RVV with the current route, but PR is much more about absolute power. And having a bit of weight helps on the Roubaix cobbles. There's a reason why you even see differences between classics specialists in how well they're suited to each of the two monuments. Degenkolb is maybe the prime example.
I would argue it kind of started with Nibali on the muddy cobbles demolishing the field in the TDF Roubaix lite stage.
 
I think Almeida contractually made sure he’s never a domestique. Free roll. UAE probably wants to do what Jumbo did 2 years ago, and bet on multiple horses to try and tire Vingegaard.
Or what Jumbo did this year at the Vuelta. If you're VLAB, how many minutes do you let Almeida take in a breakaway before you start burning doms chasing him?

Of course we've also seen the problem with this strategy --- you might be forced to back the rider you don't have that much confidence in.
 
De Ronde got more climber-friendly after the changes in 2012.
You might be looking at the race from a different viewpoint, but to me it looks like the podiums show “classic” classics riders dominating from 2012 through the 2010s. With a brief intrusion of sprinter types:
2012 Tom BoonenFilippo Pozzato
@ s.t.
Alessandro Ballan
@ 1sec
256 km42.159
2013Fabian Cancellara
6hr 6min 1sec
Peter Sagan
@ 1min 27sec
Jurgen Roelandts @ 1min 29sec256.2 km41.965
2014Fabian Cancellara
6hr 15min 18sec
Greg van Avermaet
@ s.t.
Sep Vanmarcke
@ s.t.
259 km41.407
2015Alexander Kristoff
6hr 26min 32sec
Niki Terpstra
@ s.t.
Greg van Avermaet
@ 7sec
264.9 km41.119
2016Peter Sagan
6hr 10min 37sec
Fabian Cancellara
@ 25sec
Sep Vanmarcke
@ 28sec
255 km41.283 km/hr
2017Philippe Gilbert
6hr 23min 45sec
Greg van Avermaet
@ 29sec
Niki Terpstra
@ s.t.
259.5 km40.573 km/hr
2018Niki Terpstra
6hr 21min 25sec
Mads Pedersen
@ 12sec
Philippe Gilbert
@ 17sec
264.7 km41.640 km/hr
2019Alberto Bettiol
6hr 18min 49sec
Kasper Asgreen
@ 14sec
Alexander Kristoff
 

TRENDING THREADS